1838 in the United States
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|1838 in the United States|
|Years:||1835 1836 1837 – 1838 – 1839 1840 1841|
26 stars (1837–1845)
Events from the year 1838 in the United States.
- President: Martin Van Buren (Democratic)
- Vice President: Richard Mentor Johnson (Democratic)
- Chief Justice: Roger B. Taney
- Speaker of the House of Representatives: James K. Polk (D-Tennessee)
- Congress: 25th
- January 6 - Samuel Morse first publicly demonstrates the telegraph.
- January 8 - Alfred Vail demonstrates a telegraph using dots and dashes (this is the forerunner of Morse code).
- January 12 - Mormonism: Joseph Smith, Jr. and Sidney Rigdon flee Ohio for Missouri
- January 27 - Abraham Lincoln speaks at the Springfield Young Men's Lyceum.
- March 8 - The New Orleans Mint strikes its first coinage, 30 dimes.
- May 26 - Trail of Tears: The Cherokee removal begins with the forced relocation of the Cherokee Native American tribe, which resulted in the deaths of an estimated 4,000 Cherokee Indians.
- June 12 - Territory of Iowa is established. At the time of its founding, Iowa Territory encompassed parts of modern-day Minnesota, South Dakota, North Dakota, as well as all of Iowa. The river city of Burlington functions as the territorial capital until 1841.
- September 3 - Dressed in a sailor's uniform and carrying identification papers provided by a free Black seaman, future abolitionist Frederick Douglass boards a train in Maryland on his way to freedom from slavery.
- September 4 - Potawatomi Trail of Death, the forced relocation of 859 members of the Potawatomi nation from Indiana to Kansas, begins. More than 40 Potawatomi die from disease and the stress of the march.
- October 16 - Hoax: Bill Stump's Stone allegedly discovered in Moundsville, West Virginia.
- October 27 - Missouri governor Lilburn Boggs issues the Extermination Order, ordering the expulsion of all Mormons from the state.
- November 4 - Survivors of the Potawatomi Trail of Death arrive at the present-day site of Osawatomie, Kansas.
- Duke University is established in North Carolina.
- Winter – Mormons fleeing persecution in Missouri are welcomed in Quincy, Illinois.
- Second Seminole War (1835–1842)
- May 10 – John Wilkes Booth, actor and assassinated 16th President of the United States Abraham Lincoln (died 1865)
- May 12 – James McMillan, Canadian-born United States Senator from Michigan from 1889 till 1902. (died 1902)
- June 16 – Cushman Kellogg Davis, Governor of Minnesota from 1874 till 1876 and United States Senator from Minnesota from 1887 till 1900. (died 1900)
- July 8 – James B. McCreary, United States Senator from Kentucky from 1911 till 1915. (died 1918)
- July 30 – Henry A. du Pont, United States Senator from Delaware from 1906 till 1917. (died 1926)
- October 1 – Joseph Clay Stiles Blackburn, United States Senator from Kentucky from 1885 till 1897 and 1901 till 1907. (died 1918)
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